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Biol Pharm Bull. 2008 Apr;31(4):685-90.

Application of the multiplex PCR method for discrimination of Artemisia iwayomogi from other Artemisia herbs.

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Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Deajeon 305-811, Republic of Korea.


Some plants classified in the genus Artemisia are used for medicinal purposes. In particular, A. iwayomogi, which is referred to as 'Haninjin,' is used as an important medicinal material in traditional Korean medicine. However, A. capillaris, and both A. argyi and A. princeps, referred to as 'Injinho' and 'Aeyup,' respectively, are used for purposes other than those for which 'Haninjin' is utilized. However, it is occasionally difficult to differentiate 'Haninjin' from 'Injinho' and/or 'Aeyup' on the basis of their morphological features, particularly when in the dried and/or sliced form. Therefore, the development of a reliable method by which to discriminate 'Haninjin' from other Artemisia herbs, especially 'Injinho' and 'Aeyup,' is clearly necessary. We recently determined that the RAPD (random amplified polymorphic DNA) technique can be used to discriminate efficiently between some Artemisia herbs. In particular, when applied to RAPD, the non-specific UBC primer 391 (5'-GCG AAC CTC G-3') was demonstrated to amplify PCR products specific to A. iwayomogi. Based on the nucleotide sequences of the PCR product, we designed a 2F1 (5'-ACC TCG GAC CTA AAT ACA-3')/ 2F3 (5'-TTA TGA TTC ATG TTC AAT TC-3') primer set to amplify a SCAR (sequence-characterized amplified region) marker of A. iwayomogi. Employing this primer set, along with two other primer sets amplifying SCAR markers of 'Aeyup' (A. argyi and A. princeps) and both 'Injinho' (A. capillaris) and A. japonica, which are classified into the same subgroup in a phenogram constructed from RAPD analysis, we developed a multiplex PCR method by which A. iwayomogi could be discriminated with certainty from other Artemisia herbs. Via this method, we determined not only whether the tested Artemisia herb was A. iwayomogi, but also which Artemisia herbs were tested concurrently with A. iwayomogi.

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